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Size doesn’t matter, but lies and bias do

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So, I embarrassed myself yesterday.  On Facebook, I posted a link to a biased news story that wasn’t completely correct.  It showed millions of Muslims gathering to protest ISIS.  Granted the crowd part and the quest for peace part and location were all correct, but this gathering was not a protest but an annual event of a religious nature.   I posted it to show that Muslims in other countries do protest against terrorism (because I’m sometimes asked why ‘they’ don’t speak up more).  My intentions were good, and to be totally honest I only cross checked the story with one other news site BECAUSE it was something that connected with my views.   Surely, it was correct.

BUT, it wasn’t.  And just because my intentions were good and it supported something I believe it doesn’t mean it’s right.  And, this is, what I believe, one of our biggest problems  is right now.  It’s way too easy to back up our belief system with proof.  It’s also really easy to connect with our crowd and get all riled up about the other side because, you know, they’re assholes or idiots trying to take away our way of life.  And when we humans vent with people of the same mind we tend to get angrier and angrier.  With all this ‘proof’ we shut down the other side, and they are no longer one of us.  They are the bad guys.

I don’t give a torn ballot how big or small the inauguration crowd was.  Seriously it says nothing about who the new president will be —- although it does provide a glimpse into his or, one day, her popularity.  I —- take a picture here —- agree that the crowd size shouldn’t have been a story.  But, unfortunately, when the enormity of the event was bragged about beforehand, people are going to pay attention to it, and, well, report on it.

This would have been a perfect time for our new president to show that he is here to lead not rule by ignoring such trivial stories and focusing on telling us what he was signing and why.  But, instead, he accused the media of lying and had his press secretary recite “alternate facts.”   Unfortunately for him, the numbers are real.  They weren’t important before, but now they’re proof that either the “leftist” media is lying or proof that the president is, depending on who you ask.   Real fact is fake and fake fact is real.  Am I really living in an alternate world?

Accusations, name calling, fact skewering has gone amuck.   We’re all clinging to our version of reality while the real world is crumbling before our very eyes.  We cannot afford to continue giving in to bias just because it supports our side because it’s quickly becoming the norm to use that shit as ‘truth.’

I’m sharing this here because in a few months I will be crossing the border back into my own country, and I am so very concerned about where things are going.  Too much anger is brewing and too many lies are being clung to, and they have been for too long of a time.  We have got to get it together.  I am not the enemy, nor are my fellow Republicans, but our inability to collaborate with the other side will be the end of us.  Tschhhh, do not go into the blame game; my point is people we need to talk and listen and find ways to work together versus apart, and we need to go back to ‘just the facts mam.’  I don’t want to hear about how my side did this and how your side did that (vice versa), and blah, blah, blah.  We’re all the asshole idiots if we continue to go that route.

Regardless of whether you think the media coverage was right or wrong —- our president flat out had his people lie to the American people because his ego was bruised.  His people are waisting precious time playing the word game and manipulating us into a bigger divide while calling for unity.   This is dangerous, and no one’s side is going to be served unless we unite against our own ignorances.  Better, affordable health care, more money in our bank accounts, education, the pursuit of happiness for ‘we the people,’ all of that is at stake for every one of us — despite how each of us thinks we need to get the job done.

Please, America, do not allow our leaders to be as careless with their media posts or speeches as I was with mine, despite how well intentioned they think they may be.  Do not allow yourselves to do that.  We have to be vigilant in ensuring the facts we use to base our solutions on are indeed facts and not some spin to serve our own interests.  The irony of it all is if we ever get to this point we might actually learn that the majority of us want the same damned things.

But if we continue to allow this crazy making that’s going on in our society (including our contribution to it), I’m sorry to say, we are all the bad guys.  We chose to not be a united folk after all.

And if anyone needs a tutorial on how to begin talking to the other side, this little guy has some great pointers:

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